HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR PRESIDENTS? (Part I)

June 27, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

Ahhhh – misconceptions. As Michele Bachmann’s ill-fated attempt last year at securing the Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party’s nomination for President amply proved, our society and even some of our Congresspersons are full of them! Especially because of her stature as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bachmann’s lack of knowledge about her own country’s history was appalling and shocking, and wholly inexcusable as well. Her ignorance (incorrectly stating where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired, for one), and that of many of her fellow Tea Partiers, led me to research and feature what you see below. It is a presentation consisting of two or more  quotes from each of the country’s Presidents, beginning with George Washington and ending with Barack Obama. You will undoubtedly find some of these to be revealing, and even a few to be stunning – I know I sure did! Most surprising of all, especially to those on the religious right who have mistakenly assumed and argued that our Founding Fathers set out to form a Christian nation, is the anti-religious stance favoring the separation of church and state many of them took. How well do YOU know the Presidents? Let us see…

As this presentation will be lengthy, I have decided to break it into 3 parts, featuring quotes from 14-15  different Presidents, in the chronological order in which they served. Here is part I:

1). GEORGE WASHINGTON (1789-1797) – INDEPENDENT
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!”
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.”

2). JOHN ADAMS (1797-1801) – FEDERALIST
“The happiness of society is the end of government.”
“We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions…shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power… we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and state of society.”

3). THOMAS JEFFERSON (1801-1809) – DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths. or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

4). JSMES MADISON (1809-1817) – DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe for centuries.”
“The problem to be solved is, not what government is perfect, but which of the forms is least imperfect?”

5). JAMES MONROE (1817-1825) – DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
“The public lands are a public stock, which ought to be disposed of to the best advantage for the nation.”
” The American continents… are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power.”

6). JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1825-1829) – DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader.”
“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

7). ANDREW JACKSON (1829-1837) – DEMOCRATIC
“Internal improvement and the diffusion of knowledge, so long as they can be diffused by the constitutional acts of the Federal Government, are of high importance.”
“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.”

8). MARTIN VAN BUREN (1837-1841) – DEMOCRATIC
“It seems proper, at all events, that by an early enactment like that of other countries the application of public money by an officer of Government to private uses should be made a felony and visited with severe and ignominious punishment.”
“It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.”

9). WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON (1841) – WHIG
“We admit to no government by divine right…the only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed.”
“A decent and manly examination of the acts of the Government should not only be tolerated, but encouraged.”

10). JOHN TYLER (1841-1845) – WHIG
“Popularity, I have always thought,  may aptly be compared to a coquette – the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace.”
“Patronage is the sword and cannon by which war may be waged on the human race.”

11). JAMES K. POLK (1845-1849) – DEMOCRATIC
“Though I occupy a very high position, I am the hardest working man in the country.”
“With me, it is exceptionally true that the presidency is no bed of roses.”

12). ZACHARY TAYLOR (1849-1850) – WHIG
“For more tha half a century, during which kingdoms and empires have fallen, this Union has stood unshaken. The patriots who formed it have long since descended to the grave; yet still it remains, the proudest monument to their memory.”
“I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me.”

13).  MILLARD FILLMORE (1850-1853) – WHIG
“It is not strange… to mistake change for progress.”
“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory.”

14), FRANKLIN PIERCE (1853-1857) – DEMOCRATIC
“A Republic without parties is a complete anomaly. The histories of all popular governments show absurd is the idea of their attempting to exist without partirs.”
“The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably gash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution.”

15). JAMES BUCHANAN (1857-1861) – DEMOCRATIC
“I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion.”
“The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among freemen.”

=================================================================
Part II will display quotes from Abraham Lincoln – Herbert Hoover. Watch for it in a few more days!

            

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TRUTH AND MEANING

June 24, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

Those who have followed this blog for a long time know that I have, on occasion, chosen to feature some thought-provoking and meaningful quotes yaken from a wide variety of people. As it has been some time since I last did so, today, I continue this feature below. These are tiny nuggets of wisdom delivered by persons from all walks of life, from many different countries, and from a great many different times…

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
Denis Waitley -

“People with many interests live, not only longest, but happiest.”
- George Matthew Allen -

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
- Henry Ford -

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
- Les Brown -

“Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dreams closer.”
- Marcia Wieder -

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
- Napoleon Hill -

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
- Aristitle -

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”
- Walt Disney –  

“Wjen one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we fail to see the one that has been opened for us.”
- Helen Keller –                       

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
- Carl Bard -

“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need,”
- Voltaire –  

“You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”
- Zach Sobiech –   

“I am thankful for all those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”
- Albert Einstein -

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never having tried to succeed.”
- Theodore Roosevelt -  

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will take you where you want to go, no one else.”
- Les Brown -

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
- Harriet Tubman -

Those who wish to sing, always find a song.”
- Swedish Proverb -

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
- Zora Neale Hurst -

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born amd the day you find out why.”
- Mark Twain -

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’ “
- Brian Tracy -

“Do not forget small kindnesses, and do not remember small faults.”
- Chinese Proverb -

“The best way out is always through.”
- Robert Frost -

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
- Anne Frank –   

“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.”
- Albert Einstein – 

“Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.”
- Peter F. Drucker –      

“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”
- Ethiopian Proverb – 

“The best revenge is massive success.”
- Frank Sinatra –           

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WHAT THIS COUNTRY REALLY NEEDS…

June 19. 2013  By Jack Jodell. 

It was 1917. In Washington, D.C., a long-winded Senator was pontificating about the various things he thought the country desperately needed at that time. He went on and on and on (as Senators often seem to do, then and now), until then-Vice President Thomas R. Marshall finally blurted out, in sheer exasperation, “What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar!” His remark was greeted with uproarious laughter by many who were in attendance.

Today, of course, we all recognize that the last thing anyone needs is a cigar, given the cancer, stroke, and heart attack-causing properties of tobacco ingestion. But the country still has a number of truly desperate, pressing needs, and today I’d like to list a few of them:

What this country really needs is – to curtail its ADDICTION to GREED! In ever-increasing increments, the nation’s wealth is being funneled always upward on the income scale. The piggishly wealthy have been grabbing a hugely disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth for the past 30  + years, in effect stealing it from the middle and ;pwer classes beneath them. Little by little, they have shifted tax liabilities away from themselves and their corporations and have skillfully managed to place them squarely on the shoulders of those below them. They have also exported millions of good-paying American jobs to cheaper foreign labor markets, and have replaced those jobs here with much-lower wage jobs. They have corrupted our government by buying-off politicians en masse, and are ever-seeking to find new ways to increase their already record-high wealth even further. NOTHING is enough for these people – they constantly want MORE all the time! Meanwhile, as they foolishly sit back counring their money and scheming to obtain even more, the nation’s roads, bridges, schools, and electrical grid are all crumbling. Poverty and hunger are rising, and both unemployment and underemployment remain far too high. Meanwhile, as the country slowly slides toward third-world status, these same wealthy few invest in foreign plants in other countries. This is not progress – it is MADNESS, and it must be reversed  – NOW!

What this country really needs is – to put an END to paranoia! Since 9/11, we have become obsessed with terrorism. We have grown so fearful that we now make even frail old ladies take off their shoes before being cleared to board airplanes. We have grown so fearful that we now have all purses and handbags thoroughly checked before every concert or stadium event all across the country, We have grown so fearful that our government now records and stores data on our own phone numbers and the numbers we have called, plus it records and stores data on every single email we have sent or received over the last decade! DICK Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld managed to scare the country into a needless, very costly war in Iraq; and now neocons John McCain and Lindsay Graham are attempting to maneuver us into one in Syria as well. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman, as all we do in the process is foster needless bloodshed, destruction, and chaos. This madness must STOP!

What this country really needs is - to QUIT LYING! We are inundated with constant lying; untruth and dishonesty are rampant and pervasive. TV, radio, and magazine ads all lie about their products and/or try to manipulate us into buying them. John Boehner and Eric Cantor lie repeatedly when they tell us how job creation is their highest priority, but have, in reality, spent the last 3 years opposing any measures to create jobs. Paul Ryan lies when he tells us that rewarding the rich with even more tax breaks will stimulate the economy to produce new, good jobs. Fox “News” presents a steady stream of exaggeration, distortion, and outright lies in nearly everything it presents. The NRA claims it supports gun safety, but repeatedly lies through its teeth as it really opposes any effort to restrict gun sales to anyone, including convicted criminals. Even the religious right “Faith and Freedom Coalition” blatantly lies when it distributes hate-filled literature accusing the President, liberals, and the American Civil Liberties Union of engaging in an “anti-Christian” agenda, or in supporting  “socialist” or “far left” policies. Talk radio is crawling with liars (ESPECIALLY Rush Limbaugh) who spew out a seemingly endless stream of untruths in a sordid attempt to be controversial or to attract listeners. Massive lying has grown to epidemic proportions in the U.S. today, and it is extremely unhealthy. It must therefore come to a screeching HALT!

What this country really needs is – to quit being the arms merchant for the entire world! Since World War II, we have engaged in far too many wars and have fummeled billions of dollars into expensive arms races. This has resulted in record profits for greedy arms merchants but also in the senseless murders of millions of innocent people plus untold suffering across the planet. It is high time we started investing in constructive endeavors rather than pursuing the destructive paths we have been doing!

What this country really needs is – to stop polluting! We have truly been very poor stewards of our earthly home. In our zeal for maxumum profit, we have allowed gredy, self-centered people like the Koch Brothers, and multinational corporations like BP to pollute our rivers, streams, lakes, oceans and air , causing a gigantic level of harm to our environment and even to our very existence on this planet. Oil spills are killing both wildlife and people, and nuclear mishaps like Fukishima spell certain doom for the continued existence of our human race on this planet! It is imperative that we get a grip on this short-sighted, destructive behavior before we all become extinct!

These are but a few of the things I believe this country is desperately in need of at this moment, and going forward. I encourage all of you to think of others and share them. For. you see, we don’t really need a good five cent cigar: what we really need is – an end to all the utter INSANITY I have described above!              

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A POST TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER!

June 12, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

As I write, the nation is absolutely abuzz with the implications of the latest National Security scandal, wherein it has been revealed that our government has willfully been collecting and storing utterly mammoth amounts of data on the personal lives and activities of every single American: our own individual phone numbers and those whom we have called; plus every single one of the emails we have sent over the past decade. They have accomplished this with the aid of the major telephone companies and internet providers. Political figures as diverse as Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have reacted with apprehension and horror and have, in my estimation,  correctly called this a massive overrreach and gigantic invasion of individual privacy. It appears that individual privacy is now a thing of the past. Regrettably, it appears that a majority of the country still agrees that maintaining security is more important than preserving individual freedom, according to a recent poll. But this blogger believes that, in its overreaction to the horrible 9/11 attacks nearly 12 YEARS AGO, our government and its intelligence agencies have gone completely overboard with their obsession over secrecy and in attempting to stop another possible terrorist attack here. The trial of Bradley Manning, the man who leaked large amounts of sensitive government communications to Wikipedia has finally begun (a full 3 years after he was placed into solitary confinement without having first been charged with a crime), and now a second person – a 29 year old American living in Hong Kong named Edward Snowden – has publicly admitted leaking other sensitive government documents. Such is the state of our nation today: its government so utterly obsessed with secrecy that now virtually NOBODY can enjoy ANY! Osama bin Laden is clearly celebrating the after-effects his directives have had on democratic government here in America!

I will undoubtedly have further comments on this ugly scenario, but today, I wish instead to present a sorrowful, yet inspirational tale of a cancer-stricken young teen, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at age 14. He just passed away May 20, at the very tender age of 18. His name was ZACH SOBIECH, and he

Sammy Brown & ZACH SOBIECH

Sammy Brown & ZACH SOBIECH

proved to be a most remarkable young man whose time was up far, far too early! For you see, Zach refused tp go out without a fight, and he began recording music to leave the world his lasting legacy. One of his compositions, “Clouds”, has shot to the top of the iTunes Downloads charts, meaning he has left each of us with a song of rare, simple beauty and an inspiring, fresh way to value life and courageously endure our own future impending deaths, whenever they may occur.

The Sobiech family are all devout Catholics. John Lennon once wrote, “God is a voncept by which we measure our pain.” Pretty cerebral thought… I hope my agnostic and atheist friends will be able to understand the great benefits this family derived from their faith; the solace and strength it provided both them and their afflicted son Zach throughout his long, painful ordeal.  

I strongly urge you to take a few moments to click the following link and view the story of this amazing young teen, who teaches us both how to live and how to die with grace and dignity as well. Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NjKgV65fpo . See his infectious smile coupled with his upbeat demeanor, and watch him interact with his loving family and friends as his last days approach. It is treasure before your eyes. This video has achieved an astonishing just-under 10 MILLION HITS so far and, at one poiut recently, was adding them at a record pace of almost 1 MILLION MORE each day! Afterward, take a brief listen to his wonderful song “Clouds”, by clicking on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDC97j6lfyc . You will NOT be disappointed! You can download this song and his entire EP (called “Fix Me Up”, which he completed with his band A Firm Handshake) on iTunes or at Amazon.com. It also features vocals by his good friend and musical collaborator, the very talented young female vocalist, Sammy Brown. These videos are so powerful they have left me in tears each time I have viewed them, and, unless you have ice in your veins, I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

zach's epZach Sobiech, I hereby salute you and your everlasting memory for having provided each of us with an inspiring way to inject joy into our lives, no matter how dire our circumstances may seem at any given moment! Despite the perplexities of our current global situation, you have given us renewed faith and hope for the future. You have blessed us with your unsight. Thank you for this, and may you rest in eternal peace and comfort!     

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2013 HEAD AND HEART AWARD

June 6, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

Those who follow this blog regularly know I have had the tendency to focus on many of the problems our country faces as well as on those whom I believe have helped cause those problems, either through their actions or inaction. I have done so to draw attention to the many flaws we have here in America, in hopes that improvements will someday be made. I will continue doing so on a regular basis.

Every year near year’s end, I post an annual December feature, which I call “Santa’s Bozo of the Year.” It highlights some of the fools and clowns in public life whose antics were so outlandish that they were deserving of ridicule. In a similar fashion each spring, I take an opposite approach and do a different annual feature, which portrays an individual of today or yesterday whose contributions to humanity and/or our country have been so spectacular, courageous, and/or noteworthy that they should be lauded near and far as good examples of what we as humans can achieve, if we only put our minds and hearts to it. After all, not everything going on in the world is doom and gloom. So here is the fifth installment of this annual mid-year feature I call the “Head and Heart Award.” Past recipients of this award have been NICK HANAUER,  VAN JONES, KEITH OLBERMANN, and MOTHER TERESA. Individuals featured  here have used their head and heart to produce great things for humankind, and have shown themselves to be beacons of light in an often vast sea of darkness. This person should serve as an inspiration to us ALL to actually DO something –  to take a principled stand - using OUR heads and hearts on behalf of our fellow brothers and sisters, rather than simply sitting back complacently enjoying the relatively good life we have experienced here in the United States.  I have therefore chosen the recipient of this year’s award to be:

Former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, DR. ROBERT B. REICH.  

Dr. Reich can now be seen offering astute political and economic commentary all over American television, from ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoolos, to MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, to CNBC’s Kudrow and Company, as well as a number of others. Any program featuring intelligent political and/or economic discussion will likely have him featured as a guest at one time or another. For Robert Reich is a former Rhodes scholar and has an extensive background in teaching. He knew Bill Clinton during Clinton’s time at Oxford, and he once even dated Hilary Rodham before she married Bill! Reich has taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Brandeis University,  and the Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley. He is a prolific author and has published 14 books, a number of them best sellers. He has been a contributing editor for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Business Review, and The New Republic.  The Robert Reich – Jacob Kornbluth documentary “Inequality for All” won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking at the 2013 Sundance Film Festical held this past January in Park City, Utah. He is also chairman of Common Cause.

Reich is truly an intellectual giant, despite measuring only 4 feet, 10 1/2 inches in height. He was born with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia in 1946 to Jewish parents in Scranton, PA. The disease may have limited his height, but certainly not his intellect, nor his ambition! Aside from Oxford, he also studied at Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. He served in the administrations of Republican Gerald Ford and Democrat Jimmy Carter (for in those days, Republicans were far more sensible and moderate than they are now, and back then, no Republican who associated with or even employed a Democrat would have been ostracized, as they would be today). In 1992, Reich was picked by Bill Clinton to serve as Secretary of Labor, and he remained at that post throughout Clinton’s first term. There, he successfully achieved an increase in the minimum wage, lobbied for and saw passage of the School-to-Work Jobs Act, and implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act. He also pioneered and put forth many jobs training programs designed to train unemployed workers to use new technologies. With his tenacity, and under Clinton’s guidance, the country soon embarked on a record economic growth spurt, in which all segments of the economy were able to prosper at once, together

Robert Reich has always displayed a keen grasp on fairness and economic reality. He is the master of economic common sense, who knows that, for the country to truly prosper, economic gains MUST occur throughout the entire economic strata, not merely at the very top. A look at some of his quotes bears this out:

“When Republicans recently charged the President with promoting ‘class warfare’, he answered it was ‘just math.’ But it is more than math. It’s a matter of morality!”

“The problem was not that Americans spent beyond their means but that their means had not kept up with what the larger economy could and should have been able to provide them. The American economy had been growing briskly, and America’s middle class naturally expected to share in that growth. But  it didn’t. A larger and larger portion of the economy’s winnings had gone to people at the top.”

“It’s not government’s business what people do in their own private bedrooms.”

“The problem is that the choices we make in the market don’t fully reflect our values as citizens. We might make different choices if we understood the social consequences of our purchases or investments and if we knew all other consumers and investors would join us in forbearing from certain great deals whose social consequence were abhorrent to us.”

“Your most precious possession is not your financial assets. Your most precious possession is the people you have working there, and what they carry around in their hands, and their ability to work together.”

“True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.”

Our moral authority is as important, if not more important, than our troop strength or our high=tech erapons. We are rapidly losing our moral authority, not only in the Arab world, but all over the world.”

“The silent majority really is a liberal majority, even though the word liberal has taken a real beating over the oast 20 years by radical conservatives.”

“A lot of attention has been going to social values – abortion, gay rights, other divisive issues – but economic values are equally important.”

In addition to his numerous books, Reich also authors his own blog. This can be found at http://robertreich.org/.  

It  is hard for any honest, thoughtful person to disagree with such a clear and fair-minded thinker as Dr. Robert B. Reich. He rejects reactionary Tea Party extremism, and sees a definite place at the economic table for American Labor. Because he has consistantly worked for the narrowing of our horrid wealth disparity, and has truly acted in the best interests of American workers throughout his career, he is definitely derserving of this year’s Head and Heart Award! We progressives thank you, Dr. Reich, for your unbridled passion and for the many good things you have achieved!               

Posted in Bozo of the Year, commentary, corporate greed, Democratic Party, economics, extremists, labor unions, Politics, Progressives, reactionary Republicans, Tea Party, wealth disparity | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

GOOD RIDDANCE TO SOME REAL JERKS!

May 29, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

Progressives throughout the country should be rejoicing at the news that the crazy, fanatical Minnesota 6th District Congresswoman, MICHELE BACHMANN, will retire from the House of Representatives at the conclusion of her current term. Bachmann gave no concrete reason for this decision, but it is suspected by many that the new FBI probe regarding alleged improprieties oracticed by her campaign staff during her unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination last year may be playing a heavy hand.

This crazed, extremist woman has been the object of repeated, wholly justified criticism throughout her entire tenure at this blogsite and many others. From her fanatical embrace of the government-hating Tea Party, to her exhortation that angry taxpayers should descend upon the nation’s Capitol “armed and dangerous”, to her insensitive call for the abolishment of the minimum wage, to her claim that administration of the HPV vaccine could cause mental retardation,  to her ridiculous assertion that homosexuals could “pray away the gay”, to her allegation on network TV that many members of Congress were engaged in “un-American” acyivities and should be investigated – one could always depend on this fool to make insane and untrue statements, and then claim she was misquoted afterward. Yet video tapes do not lie, and they revealed her to be an unthinking liar on many occasions! Truth and fact never mattered much to Bachmann – as long as a statement was outrageous, controversial, or attention-getting, that was good enough for her. It is criminal to think that taxpayers have wasted nearly a million dollars on her salary over the years. Clearly, it was a very bad investment!

Progressives should also be overjoyed to find that Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL is in deep political trouble with Kentucky voters and may well be defeated in his bid for reelection in 2014  by a Democrat. This massive liar looks, acts, and talks like a man who is severely constipated. He is hyper-political and has become the godfather of Republican obstructionism. He has proven time after time that the only word he really knows how to utter is a loud, defiant “NO!” Evidently Kebtucky voters are justifiably fed up with a man who once described his primary goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term President, rather than tending to the wants and very real needs of concerned Kentucky citizens. For a recent Public Policy Poll showed present Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in a virtual dead heat with him. Ms. Grimes and her family have very longstanding ties and deep roots with the Kentucky Democratic Party and she is regarded as a very formidable challenger.  Should she decide to run, she has an excellent opportunity to replace the stuffy McConnell, who has spent many, many years working on behalf of wealthy bankers and the Wall Street crowd, while neglecting the needs of the everyday Kentuckian and villifying all his perceived political opponents.  Kentuckians, who have blown MILLIONS  over the years on his congressional salary and have received very little for that expenditure, would do very well to replace him, even if Ms. Grimes turns out to be a blue dog Democrat.

So it now appears that, come January of 2015, our country will finally be rid of two of its biggest political oarasites and outright jerks in Michele Bachmann and Mitch McConnell. I can hardly wait! Now if we could only do the same with Paul Broun, Louie Gomert, Virginia Foxx, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and all the rest of these Tea Party-infested, reactionary Republicans who deliberately and defiantly stand in the way of true progress…    

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THE REPUBLICANS ARE RIGHT!

May 23, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

The Republicans are right to assert that government is the problem and not the solution. No, friends – I have not lost my mind – kindly just hear me out. Before long, I’m sure you will be in complete agreement with me…

Take a look around you. The country’s infrastructure is badly decaying. Our once world-class network of roads and bridges are in widespread disrepair. Potholes are nearly everywhere, and bridges are crumbling before our eyes. Our electrical grid is dated and widespread power outages will soon be imminent. With ever-rising prices and declining incomes for the vast majority of the country, we are rapidly heading toward third-world status.

Consider this: with unemployment and severe underemployment at near-record levels; with no federal jobs program even remotely in sight; and with oil companies raising prices at will (flipping them down a little and then up a lot, like a kid tossing his yoyo) – over the past few years, according to a study done by the Center for American Progress, our federal government gave the nation’s hugest oil companies nearly $4 BILLION ANNUALLY in tax subsidies! Now why, pray tell, would companies making record profits be in need of tax subsidies? Did these subsidies result in reduced prices for you at your neighborhood gas station’s pump? Of course not – the prices went UP instead. If that is not a brazen example of government being the problem rather than the solution, then please paint my butt blue and mail me off to Borneo – I have clearly become delusional!

In January, 2011, a serving congresswoman named Gabby Giffords was nearly shot to death by a deranged gunman. In December, 2012, just before Christmas, 20 innocent 6 and 7 year olds  were brutally and senselessly murdered by another madman with a gun as they sat inside their Newtown, CT elementary school. Though a huge majority of horrified voters favored the immediate imposition of tighter restrictions on gun ownership, Congress has resisted this call for action and has refused to even consider the slightest changes in gun laws. That, too, is a clear-cut case of government being the problem rather than the solution, and how it has failed miserably to protect the voting public from harm.

In his brilliantly-penned song, “Why Am I An Anarchist?”, author Norman Nawrocki makes his case abundantly clear:

  “Why am I an anarchist?
Because old age pensioners eat dog food.
Because single moms on welfare cry.
Because politicians steal our future.
Because women can’t walk the streets safely.
Because I want to breathe fresh clean air.
Because hope, freedom and dignity are never on special at walmart.
Because capitalism is a scam.
Why am I an anarchist?
Because I’m tired of supermarket rip offs.
Because truth, peace and justice are almost extinct.
Because TV and newspapers lie.
Because kids go to school hungry.
Because I feel unsafe around cops.
Because America’s president leaves me no choice.
Because poetry and butterflies demand equal time.
Why am I an anarchist?
Because no one will watch the rain.
Because groundhogs and rabbits are getting murdered.
Because two headed chickens protests and no one listens.
Because twenty minutes of sunshine can now kill.
Because rent is no longer affordable.
Because we deserve better.
Why am I an anarchist?
Because banks rob people and it’s not a crime.
Because I want to banish all cars from the city.
Because they built prisons but close hospitals and schools.
Because neither the sun, the moon or the stars are for sale.
Because corporate greed destroys lakes, rivers and forests.
Because I’m not afraid to dream.
Because I refuse to remain silent.
Why am I an anarchist?
Because it’s time to shut down McDonalds.
Because I have friends who can’t afford to visit the dentist.
Because one homeless family is too much.
Because the state blames and attacks the poor but rewards it’s friends.
Because no fat cat lying politician ever has to wait for the bus.
Because I want social revolution now (now) (now) (now)
Why am I an anarchist?
Why am I an anarchist?”

Mr. Nawrocki is definitely more cynical than I, but there is definite truth in his writing. His song was written and released back in 2004 during the administration of George W. Bush, but it is equally relevant today. We  have seen numerous illustrations of the failings of government, both in his song and in our everyday lives. But think about it: these glaring failures have occurred primarily as a result of Republican control or Republican influence.

That’s correct, folks: Government is the problem ONLY when it is controlled by or heavily influenced by government-hating Republicans! With strong liberal Democratic majorities and minimal Republican influence, then and only then will you see government performing as it should: for the benefit of all the people rather than mainly for the wealthy and powerful as we are unfortunately seeing today. After all, government worked fine during the New Deal years, when the CCC and WPA provided much-needed work for millions, when  Social Security became a reality instead of a dream, unemployment and a livable minimum wage were instituted, and when labor unions became legal and strong and achieved a fair amount of leverage for working people. In the heavily liberal Democratic years of the mid 1960s, government again proved its usefulness, creating a fabulous Medicare program for the elderly and disabled, instituting long overdue and much needed tough civil rights laws, and forming a far-too-short, yet nonetheless very effective War on Poverty. The country prospered tremendously and much more equally as a direct result of this bold federal activism. In effect, the government was doing its job relatively well. yet Republicans hated it. They never had much time for programs which aided the disadvantaged, so with the rise of the new cobsevatism under Ronald Reagan and then carried to its current extreme during the Bush/Cheney era, they began to sabotage and even dismantle much of what had been achieved during the previous 50+ years. First, they obtained several HUGE tax reductions for the rich. Then, they pushed for, and got,  the outsourcing of good paying American jobs to foreign slave labor markets. Then, they pushed for, and achieved, the massive deregulation of business and for privatization. All of these moves proved to be beneficial only to the wealthy and disastrous to everyone else. With the rise of the government-hating Tea Party, they have now compounded our economic problems by forcing the country to adopt ridiculous and harmful austerity measures.

All of these actions have served to weaken the federal government and have reduced its effectiveness to nearly nothing. The Republicans have indeed turned government into a big problem by corrupting it and short-circuiting it. Their notions that the rich must be taxed and regulated less, and that the “free” market must be left alone because it is self-correcting  are perverse lies (as both 1929’s Great Depression and 2008’s Great Recession have abundantly proven).

So you see, I am correct to state that the Republicans are “right”. More precisely, they are now FAR right – off the table right – even out-of-the-galaxy EXTREME right. That is why candidates belonging to this new government-hating, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republican Party must be thrown out of office and/or prevented from entering office in the first place. Until it moderates itself, this rotten party has no business governing. For they have become a destructive force of obstruction in the American body politic, and they must be removed completely before they kill our host government!

Posted in "free market" economics, Bush tax cuts for the rich, capitalism, commentary, Democratic Party, extremists, Politics, Progressives, reactionary Republicans, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments